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was yet more bitter than the blows, I could not avoid reflecting that the situation was of my own fabricating, and my punishment richly deserved.
« Our destination was the West-Indies, where I caught the yellow fever, and had nearly lost my life.-As we were stationed for a year and a half, I found an op, portunity to write to my mother, craving her pardon, and promising, if ever I got back, to make amends for all my former follies; but to this I never received
any answer; and though I wrote several other letters, was equally unsuccessful. Doubtless the war, and other disastrous events, prevented their coming safe to hand.
“ At length we had orders to return home, which was very pleasing to me, though my situation was not in reality so irksome as formerly; for, though the effort had cost me many an aching heart and painful shoulders, I had got into a habit of industry, and in consequence met with fewer blows.
« We had been about six weeks on our
way home, and I was exulting in the hope of seeing my family, whose value I had learned from their loss; when one morning we discovered a French ship making towards us, and which appeared of superior strength.We prepared for action, and about twelve a severe engagement ensued. The scene of slaughter that surrounded me might have appalled the boldest heart; but I hope I did my duty, though my conscience perpetually whispered, how happy I might have been, and how miserable I had made myself.At length, in the heat of the engagement, as I was waiting for orders, a cannon shot struck my leg, and I fell senseless on the deck, amidst a heap of dead and wounded.-The French ship, being disabled, ran; and ours was too much impaired to pursue ; the Captain therefore thought only of safety and making the best of his way, ordering us all to the care of the surgeon. My leg was so much shattered, that amputation was necessary; and I bore it patiently, for I could not
help saying within myself, —it is the hand of God: and the just punishment of disobedience, ingratitude, and idle
“ In ten days we reached Portsmouth, when the wounded men were removed to the hospital, and myself among the number: here it was, after a confinement of two months, I met my cousin William, who by chance called to see a sick comrade.Notwithstanding my undeserving, he embraced me with kindness, and, by his discourse afterwards, showed me the full extent of my wickedness, reconciled me by his reasoning to my misfortune, shared his little purse with me, and finally is now leading me home, a penitent wanderer
; sensible of the good I heretofore threw from me, and willing to labour in any manner that my strength will allow; or any
situation that the providence of God may place me in."
Indeed, Sir," said William, addressing Mr. Richardson, as his cousin concluded his story, “George has represent
ed his errors in their worst colours; I am sure he is now heartily sorry for them, and I hope will hereafter do very well; for, thank God, as he has both his arms, he will be able to work at his business, which will make his mother amends for all her sorrows, and show the world, that though he has been faulty, he was not incorrigible."
“ Your advice, young man,” returned Mr. Richardson, "is perfectly good, and, I trust, will be followed : indeed, I have no doubt of it, for
appears thoroughly sensible of his follies ;--but you also, I understand, received a wound; is that perfectly healed po?
" Ah, Sir, that was well before we came on shore ; would to Heaven my dear master's had been no worse !"
Do you propose to remain in the seaservice po
“ I cannot tell, Sir; I am now in town by leave of the present Captain, who granted it at the request of the ship-surgeon, who has ordered me to meet him
the day after to-morrow at Captain Wells's brother's, who is a merchant in Fenchurch-street."
Mr. Richardson cautioned both against George's appearing before his mother until she was apprised of his misfortunes ; gave William a card, and bid him call on him when he came to town, which the lad, with many thanks, promised to perform.
Mr. Richardson then took a hand of each of his children, and bidding the sailors farewell, walked towards town, while they pursued their way to Edmonton.